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Peres says Arab terror is 'a protest'

Israel has not done enough to understand the reasons behind Arab terror, former president told German magazine.


Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres Flash 90

Israel has not done enough to “understand” the reasons behind Palestinian terror, according to former President Shimon Peres. In an interview he gave German magazine Der Spiegel before his recent heart attack, Peres sounded an apologetic note for the Arab terror against Israel.

“This terror is a revolt,” he told the magazine. “Many young people are attracted today by the totalitarianism of terror. What we have in Israel is part of this development – but at the same time it is different. There need to be two states, but there is only one. This contributes to the fact that young Palestinians are against us. Israel often does not see the real reasons. Israel does not see this as a protest. It sees the killing.”

Israelis needed to put the Palestinian violence "into context," Peres said, according to the magazine.

Peres also undermined Israel's accusations that Palestinian Authority (PA) chief Mahmoud Abbas bears responsibility for the terror as the person at the head of the PA's incitement machine. “Abbas is a very courageous man,” said Peres. I met him often and negotiated with him directly. He wants peace and he fights terror.”

The only solution, Peres said, was a true two-state solution. “I believe that Israel is in a transitional phase,” said Peres. “I do not think that we will be able to eternally avoid a diplomatic solution, which will be the two-state solution. Nothing else will do.”

Der Spiegel said that Netanyahu has been based on trying to have it both ways, by proposing a kind of "1.5-state solution" in the form of a demilitarized Palestinian state, which is further controlled by the Israeli military. "That is not acceptable," said Peres in response. "The whole world wants a two-state solution.”

Eventually – when Netanyahu leaves office – that is what will take place, Peres hinted broadly. “Governments are not elected for eternity. They are temporary. The only eternal person is the Messiah and has not yet come."

In defense of Israel, Peres said that Jewish extremism is a limited phenomenon. "How many people are we talking about? Very few," he argued. "The perpetrators of the arson attack on a Palestinian family in Duma have now been apprehended and brought to justice. We combat this phenomenon."

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